Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The Debt (For Rosa Parks, 2006)

"And yet, when the history of this country is written,
when a final accounting is done, it is this small, quiet woman,
whose name will be remembered long after the names of senators
and presidents have been forgotten." -- State Senator Barack Obama

Something shined within her
broke loose
and touched them
they did not know it
but they were standing
in the presence of

a just God
that saw her hand clutching proof
of an unearned fare

We can no longer touch her
the bronzed hands
that smell like pennies
she does not return gestures
from well wishers and wonderers
her softly sculpted eyes
are steely and resigned

but the cost of her
unfolding humility
is greater than the sum of statues
Her faithful face
breaks loose peace
the wave of her simple slicked hair
pulled back
leaves a scent in the air
a fresh rain
in thunders long staked

rain that feathers from the sky to the earth
crumpled bills from
the hand of God

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